BEAR Montreal Summer School 2018
June 18-23, 2018
CÉRIUM, Université de Montréal

“Between the EU and Russia: Transnational ‘Soft Power’ and Societal Activism”

The European Union’s eastern members and their neighbors represent a zone of contact and of contestation, a meeting point between cultures, communities and social spaces. It is a ‘playground’ for political and socio-economic transformations in which states and diverse societal groups must navigate between the EU and Russia, between varied economic and political integration projects, and between different values, ideas and visions of society. Power relations in this Eastern zone influence the opening, closing, and transformation of political possibilities for EU integration.

This Summer School, organized the Jean Monnet BEAR Network (“Between the EU and Russia: Dimensions of Diversity and Contestation”), examined two aspects of this larger issue: the EU and Russia as transnational actors in regards to regional integration and “soft power” and the society activism in response to these integration projects.

Interested in this zone of contact and contestation between the EU and Russia, and in the ways states and societies engage with their respective/overlapping influences, this Summer School addressed the following broad questions:

• In what respects are the EU and Russia’s regional connectivity/integration projects competitive vs. complementary?

• How does the “soft power” of the EU and Russia affect local perceptions of threat or belonging?

• How does real and/or prospective EU integration affect protest dynamics and the likelihood of violence?

• To what extent are the claims and dynamics of social movements in one state in the region affected by those in neighboring states, and with what ramifications for European integration?

More details here.